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Nissan Quest 2004+



  • famof3kidsfamof3kids Posts: 160
    Well, the day before we left for a week long trip to the beach, I noticed a loud knocking in the engine at 2500 RPM. I called the local Nissan dealer and they wanted me to bring it by. So, at 2pm on a Friday evening I took it by. You know you've got problem with the service advisors and the mechanics come to listen and all shake their heads in bewilderment!
    So, they checked the oil a few times, changed it, checked the oil pressure, ran a computer diagnostic, and all OK.
    Time to call the engineers in TN. So, they were on the phone with those guys for almost an hour. They have never heard/seen this, and the engineers hadn't either. They authorized the dealer to drop the engine and check the timing chain and tensioners.
    So, no van for the beach trip! :(
    After working on the engine, sure enough, it was the timing chain hydraulic tensioner that had gone bad. So, be aware of that, as you couldn't tell unless reving the engine....

    2004 Quest SE
    42,000 miles
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I hope your van is still covered by the extended warranty?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    He should be covered byt the extended bumper to bumper warranty and/or the powertrain warranty.
  • ckeoughckeough Posts: 15
    I just changed my air filter at 19K, I usually do it based on visual inspection, not mileage. I was quite dirty and I'll be checking it at 12-15K from now on. We just completed our 1st long trip since getting this van new in 11/06, it's an 06 S Special Edition. The only problem we've had which I did post about in April was transmission, dealer replaced it at 16K due to slipping/downshifting. We drove from Rochester, NY to North Carolina Outer Banks and got 27-28 MPG south of DC and 26 going through PA hills. Mileage was better than I thought it would be; we get 19 MPG during weekly driving. Still have not had to touch the brakes, tires look like I'll get the common 30K for the OEM.

  • famof3kidsfamof3kids Posts: 160
    Oh, left that out...yep, covered 100% under warranty. Just out a van during repairs. All seems fine with it now....
  • f1236089f1236089 Posts: 25
    I just sent my van in this morning to have a engine noise checked. The noise would come on whenever the van is under load or going uphill around 2000~2500 rpm. I hope it is not something like yours. Fingers crossed.
  • tjshantjshan Posts: 28

    Have had our 06 SE in twice for exactly the same thing...the service mgr keeps trying to tell me it is the car's "natural harmonic" please keep me appraised of what yours says...we are bringing ours in Wed again for the same issue and could use some backup

  • afp1afp1 Posts: 1
    One morning the quest would not start. Had it towed to the dealer on June 20, 2007. The dealer said the Engine Control Module was the cause. Now it is July 20 and still no module in stock. Nissan Canada said it should be available around August 6. Almost 2 months with no van. Am I unlucky or is this common?
  • maillouxmailloux Posts: 2
    I had the same problem with my quest 04 last summer.had it towed to the dealer.Told me it was the ECM lucky it was still on warrenty ,new module cost a 1000.00$ more problem since excep with the right hand sliding door.
  • tjshantjshan Posts: 28
    Well, another trip to the dealer and the diagnosis is that I am imagining the vibration, or that I am too sensative. The diagnostics on the engine show it to be running fine. I recall some months back reading that someone here had found a service bulliten for this problem, anyone recall where to find that bulliten?
  • exploder750exploder750 Posts: 159
    We have 81,000 miles on our '04 Quest, and recently its started a 'vibrating' drone when accelerating thru 2nd and 3rd gears. I don't think there's anything wrong, maybe something's come loose under the hood.
  • Hi,

    I have 2004 Quest mid level package (SL?) and had to repace the tensioner pully on the serpentine belt. It may be unrelated, but now at idle I get a clocking sound, almost like valve lifters (from my old 4 banger Chriysler days). Is this similar to what you heard? My mechanic put a stethascope on all the parts related to the serpentine belt and could not track it down. The top side of the engine is the next logical place...
  • famof3kidsfamof3kids Posts: 160
    It was more of a knocking than a clocking sound...ha...It was a loud 'disturbing' noise. So much so, the mechanics didn't like hearing it. All was covered under warranty, and so far, all seems to be fine now. It only occurred when reving the engine. Mechanics said it always occurred, but, just couldn't hear it while driving. My dealer said that a Nissan engine should be quite and pur, if not, there is something wrong.

  • Have same problem. In most cases it is the underbody mount for the cat or the middle mount for the exhaust where the exhaust runs through the frame rails.
  • Those aree tough FOBs. I have been swimming with mine in pocket twice and it still works.
  • Bought my 04 in September 04 and got 40,000 out of original crappo tires and still on original brakes without shudder.
  • OK,
    low down
    2004 Quest SE with 80,000 km
    serviced by dealer until July 2006, when I went out of the country for almost 3m

    Just started job - was pricing out tires and brakes before winter. And a trip back to the dealer for the next PM.

    Noise starts - and disappeared while running warm engine (sometimes) or became quieter.

    Took to garage (not dealer) they checked it over quickly and believed it was something 'inside' - schedule an appoitnment

    Van dies, have towed - told ENGINE GONE

    OK, so say - now what?

    They check the ECM - needs to be replaced - says failed (this is my second one since purchase). Takes 10 days - put in & try car and it starts, and then stops. The ECM they removed was not 'programmed' properly - apparently the 'maintenance modules and warnings were shut off'. Implied "I" did it - hell - I still don't understand all of the stuff to run my radio!

    I was told that the ECM should have identifed the problem to me - ie - low oil level. Then, I was advised by a service manager that a 'dipstick can be dry' and not set of the sensor. Sounds fishy actually. I would think if there wasn't enough OIL - the oil light should have come on. I would think that the engine would heat up, it would tell me. I would think that there would be something that would signal me to check it - especially when the wierd knocking sound came AFTER all of this!

    Dealer tells me that I didn't do a recent oil change. That was the reason the engine is broken. OK, maybe that is the case. But my van was running awesome and it was part of the upcoming PM work for end of Sept.

    So here is where things are:

    I have warranty still, but they want me to pay about $1000 for the dignostics to see if there are ANY component failures - which could mean some/all of the engine is under warranty.


    Put in a new engine - @ $9500 plus $2600 for installation, plus parts (if needed) plus taxes @ 15%


    Put in an engine from a 21,000km car crash victim, at a cost of $3-5000 plus tax and parts, but would NOT be eligible for a warranty AND my Nissian warranty would then be NUL & VOID for the remainder of my car.


    Trade it in, for a fair deal against a NEW ONLY vehicle from the dealer.

    I figure my vehicle would have still be worth somewhere around the $20,000 mark - cause I had upgrades and add ons and my intent was to drive it into the ground - timing of which would be the leaving of my kidlets from home. Giving me the chance to then buy an adult car again - whoooo.

    So, I'm trying to find others who have had engine failures! I have heard, and the dealer has said in passing remarks that there have been 'other vehicles with noises which have experienced engine problems'. I want to find out if there is potentially a problem that happens to this vehicle (and those which are in infinity models) @ the 80,000mile mark. My vehicle was at 80,000km. So relatively speaking - it was a bit early.

    Don't get me wrong - I love my Quest - I bought it for specific reasons! I can't say I was not disappointed on the milage irregularities, but overall, I want to keep my Quest.

    I want to find out if this 'noise' and 'engine failure' is something is a problem that others have experienced.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    When was the last oil change? Any signs of oil leaks like big puddle under the car? Signs of white smoke blowing out the tail pipe?

    Based on what you are saying, the dealership is doing the classic, blame the customer, first. Keep fighting! And find any of your oil change recceipts. Also talk to you other mechanic about what the dealer said. I'm not a mechanic but what they are saying does not sound right.

    Edit: Do a google search on Nissan 3.5L engine and oil loss and see what you find. In a small percentage of engines, they have had excessive oil loss due to malfunctioning piston rings. Again do a google search and see if you find what I found. And check out this site with TSBs on the Quest:

    Get all your ducks in a row, and keep fighting the dealership. You may want to push this to the next level and get the district/regional manager involved.
  • You know there is a TSB for that, right? If not, have dealer look. There is a special bracket they have to buy for the middle exhaust mount. The original isn't strong enough and it caused, in our case, a bad rattle.

  • I'm not real clear on your story. So, they replaced the ECM and then it started, then turned back off? Why do they think the engine is bad? Was it out of oil when it was towed to the dealer?

    If it was out of oil, regardless of any other problem, that is your fault and is not covered by warranty. I've also heard stories of dealers voiding your warranty if you have too much oil in the engine.

    2004 Quest SE
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    The read I got from the OP is it is not a simple case of extended oil change or lack of maintenance. There seems to be a question of why there was no warning of low oil level and a question about the ECM being programmed properly. I'm a bit confused with the timeline of when and who replaced the second ECM. The first mechanic checked the van and the dealerships checked the van. Wouldn't these two professionsals have checked the oil then? And then they blame the OP for turning off the warning modules. Plus the dealer fed him the line of "even a dry dipstick may not trigger a warning light", which makes no sense what so ever. I doubt the warning lights can be turned off by the owner.

    I do agree the OP story is hard to follow. I'm more interested in knowing when the last oil change was (mileage and time)? Who changed the ECM and why? Why do they believe the engine is dead? Still not sure about the noise. could use more explanation on this.
  • OK - more info
    answering question

    this is the THIRD computer install (1st - original, there was one replacement @ about 6months - manufacturer ordered) then this one

    the engine WAS started AFTER the latest install, but the mechanic advised my dad - the engine stopped and would not restart

    I had all dealer maintenance done = up to about 48 or 60 km - by dealer

    I had oil changes done by them, however,recently I did not have one.

    There were no indications - smoke, noise (until the end), oil leaks, car ran awesome!!!! - that there was a problem

    Computer did not indicate any high, low, hot, cold issues related to oil.

    There was 2/5 L of oil left in the vehicle BUT they said the oil was not touching the dip-stick

    They told me that the lack of oil on dip-stick, would NOT make the computer send me a msg.

    They assume the computer was turned off by owner, as they feel that the mechanic would not have neglected to fire it up (ie - program it)

    My dad, who has been a HUGH blessing, in talking to them, believes that there is 'more to the story' and thinks something is fishy.

    Underlying msg - I started to get my car checked about the 'noises' and to make arrangements to do brakes, tires and maintenance when this happened. Fall work ... pre-winter.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Thank you for the additional information. Again as i suggested in my earlier post, do a google search on "Nissan 3.5L oil loss" or some variation of this. There are numerous articles discussing possible oil loss due to piston failure. It is very, very infrequent but you need to educate yourself.

    Your father has very good instincts. One delayed oil change will not cause this type of failure. Nor will it cause loss of oil. Engine oil is much better nowadays and can easily go 7500 miles between changes.
  • Funny how it is always the customers fault when it is timre for a dealer/manufacturer to honor their warranty. I forgot to reset my oil maintenance timer and now the dealer is saying a problem coming from the timing compartment is because I did not change the oil. I friend of mine sketched out the timing setup & chain tensioner without having seen it, and is 99% sure the tensioner has failed. (Dealer wants to drop in a used motor for $3500 after and oil change did not solve the rattle/chain noise) The original dianosos was a plugged aftermarket filter. Bottom line is they seldome have a clue & it is easy to pull the customers fault card because few will push it too far.

    I say give them hell!!!...& good Luck!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Unfortunately you are right esp. when it comes to a big ticket item like this. I still don't understand the $15k quote hotfox got from the dealer. What he/she is describing is not caused by not changing the oil. You can safely go 7500 miles between oil changes without adverse effect. If the quality of the oil is in question, do an oil analysis. I think it is an issue of her engine burning oil and this van does not have a "low oil" light. Not unless there is a pool of oil under the van that he/she missed, I don't know how you would know your van is low on oil. It's most likely a defect in the engine.
  • I spoke with the service manager here in NOVA, yes, we moved, and he says that they see a lot of hydraulic timing chain tensioners failing on all 3.5 equipped models. In southern VA, mine was the first the dealer claimed to have seen. Hopefully this isn't going to be a black eye for Nissans 'famed' 3.5 engine. So far, so good, but, I hope the problem don't reoccurr after warranty is out.
  • Thanks for the comment about your new local dealership. My local dealers General manger called me after I pretty much lit them & Nissan up on a on line customer service survey (they asked!!). He agreed to go to bat with Nissan if I sent him a letter stating that I changed my oil at regular recomennded intervals, but I sent your post along to bolster my position. Overall, i think the Quest has some good ideas and progressive styling, but many are poorly engineered or executed.
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282

  • Well fellow fourumites....

    After I followed up with my dealers service deparment again the service manager contacted Nissan again about the timing chain rattling in the top end of the housing.

    Apparently Nissan is willing to to fix the problem as a courtesy repair for a minimal out of pocket cost of $500. Basically they are sticking with their opinion that I am lying about changing my oil since I don't have receipts.

    Since I work with a couple of motorheads that have forgotten more about motors that the entire service department knows, I ordered a tensioner on line and they are willing to help me swap it out.

    If this solves the chain noise I will trade this PITA in on something more relaible. I got away from US makers because of quality, but after paying 20% more for a "foreign" make with lots of issues, I may go back.
  • I've been trying to figure out how to remove the passenger side brake light to replace the bulb on my 2004 Nissan Quest. I see the two screws holding it when I open the hatchback and it loosens it but I can't seem to get it to come out. Someone said it pulls straight out but I can't seem to get it to come out. I hate to take it to a dealer and pay $$$ just to change a light bulb! Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks... Gary
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